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Space & Astronomy

ISS supply rocket explodes after liftoff

By T.K. Randall
October 29, 2014 · Comment icon 81 comments

The rocket turned in to a fireball seconds after liftoff. Image Credit: NASA
A US rocket bound for the International Space Station has exploded just seconds after launching.
Built by Orbital Sciences Corp, the 14-story Antares rocket had blasted off from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia when a malfunction caused it to burst in to flames.

Nobody was hurt in the incident however officials have so far been unable to determine what went wrong.

The rocket had been carrying a Cygnus cargo ship filled with supplies bound for the International Space Station.

"There was no cargo that was absolutely critical to us that was lost on that flight," said NASA Associate Administrator William Gerstenmaier. "The crew is in no danger."

An investigation in to the incident is now underway.

Source: Reuters | Comments (81)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #72 Posted by Mr Supertypo 10 years ago
well crazy aliens or old Soviet engines we can only hope the aftermath would be more R&D and adoption of new modern American build engines.
Comment icon #73 Posted by toast 10 years ago
well crazy aliens or old Soviet engines we can only hope the aftermath would be more R&D and adoption of new modern American build engines. Its too early now to blame the Russian parts of the engine to be the cause for the failure and we cannot exlude yet if the failure was maybe caused by non-Russian peripheral equipment of the engine and/or other systems of the Antares device. And US R&D is still in process, example:
Comment icon #74 Posted by Mr Supertypo 10 years ago
true it could be basically everything from engine failure to a loose screw somebody forgot to fix.
Comment icon #75 Posted by pallidin 10 years ago
(CNN) -- The unmanned Antares rocket that exploded off the coast of Virginia was deliberately destroyed after it became apparent there was a problem, a spokesman for Orbital Sciences Corporation said Thursday. Source: Operator in Rocket Blast Hit Self-Destruct When Problem Became Clear... Source: Antares Rocket Update: Company confirms self-destruct system engaged... Source: [More]
Comment icon #76 Posted by DONTEATUS 10 years ago
Lets put in our best guesses Russian parts ,Or Operator problems ? Or Both!
Comment icon #77 Posted by Merc14 10 years ago
Orbital Sciences has announced that last week’s Antares rocket explosion was most likely caused by a fault in one of the rocket’s two refurbished Russian AJ-26 rocket engines. Prior to the launch failure, Orbital already had a long-term plan to replace these engines by 2016 — and now, it is unlikely that any more Antares rockets will be flown until the engines are changed. In the meantime, Orbital Sciences will try to launch the Cygnus resupply craft with other commercial space launch systems (it was designed to be mated to other rockets, not just Antares). [More]
Comment icon #78 Posted by Merc14 9 years ago
NASA knew there was a major problem with the AJ-26 engines Documents: NASA knew aging metal could crack By Melody Petersen, Los Angeles Times Tribune News Service © January 5, 2015 Years before an unmanned rocket erupted in a fireball on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in October, NASA officials knew the metal in its 50-year-old Soviet-made engines could crack, causing fuel to leak and ignite, government documents show. As early as 2008, a NASA committee warned about the “substantial” risk of using the decades-old engines, and a fire during a 2011 engine tes... [More]
Comment icon #79 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 9 years ago
Workers complete $15 million in repairs to Antares launch pad Repair crews in Virginia have restored the Antares booster’s launch pad — damaged in an explosive rocket crash nearly one year ago — to flight-ready status as the Orbital ATK launcher moves toward a return-to-flight in 2016.The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, a Virginia government agency which owns pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, announced the repair milestone in a press release Sept. 30. Read more...
Comment icon #80 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 9 years ago
NASA Team Provides Summary of its Review of Orbital ATK Accident A NASA team that independently reviewed the unsuccessful launch last year of Orbital ATK’s third commercial resupply services mission intended to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) has completed its report and publicly released an executive summary of its findings. Executive Summary: NASA Independent Review Team Orb–3 Accident Investigation Report Shortly after 6:22 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket suffered an anomaly during launch from Pad 0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spa... [More]
Comment icon #81 Posted by Merc14 9 years ago
Wow. Check out these amazing photos of the Antares rocket exploding at Wallops Island.

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